10 songs – 33 minutes
Slinky Williams and her life partner, P’tit Loup (French for Little Wolf), are an enigmatic pair of string players who lay down a funky mix of acoustic blues with a light, breezy feel no matter what the source of their material, which ranges from New Orleans funk to Duke Ellington and modern blues.
Background information on the duo is sketchy at best. They’re veterans of the European music scene, and are based in Germany despite their roots, which appear to be French and American. Slinky handles most of the vocals while adding mandolin, while she and P’tit Loup double on guitar and percussion. Partners in life as well as on stage, they’ve been making music together since 1972, when they worked in Folk Omnibus, a trio influenced by the folk music movement in Great Britain.
They produced two subsequent LPs with the band Gurnemanz before switching gears to play world music and one disc with the band GAIA. They played rock and jazz during the ‘90s before forming the blues-rock unit, The Xperts. They’ve been working as a duo for the past few years, serving up heaping helpings of old-time blues, swing and jazz while demonstrating prowess on the fretboard. And they recorded Movin’ On at home. Since laying down these tracks, they’re now working with a bass player when on the road.
First up is a cover of Art Neville’s “Cha Dooky-Do.” It’s a tender love song that’s enhanced by Slinky’s alto vocal, which glides from note to note. P’tit Loup answers her lyrics with work on electric guitar. A straight-ahead acoustic version of Jimmy Vivino’s modern classic, “Beat Up Guitar,” follows. The duo’s playing is never forced and slightly behind the beat, driving the music forward.
A cover of another Crescent City standby, Doctor John and Doc Pomus’ “Dance The Night Away With You,” is delivered with an old-time feel as Slinky and P’tit Loup deliver it as a duet. A pair of originals follow. “Movin’ On” provides a platform for each of the artists to deliver a vague verse about their own mysterious origin before teaming up for the chorus, while “The Girl With The Broken Heart” features Slinky on vocals and mandolin in a modern number with a throwback feel.
Louis Jordan’s “Early In The Morning” follows with the familiar refrain “…and I ain’t got nothin’ but the blues…” before the duo make Ellington’s “Sweet Mama” their own with an acoustic blues presentation. Two more originals — “You’re A No Good Man,” a minor-key blues, and “Danser Le Swing,” delivered in French, — follow before a cover of the Professor Longhair standard, “Tipitina,” closes the set.
Available as a download from iTunes or Amazon or by contacting the artists directly (address above), Movin’ On is a sweet confection that melts in your mind too quickly and leaves you wanting more.